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Rampant Reds heap more misery on Magpies

LIVERPOOL beat Newcastle United 3-0 at Anfield yesterday to keep up its pursuit of Manchester United at the top of the English Premier League table and send Newcastle deeper into relegation trouble at the bottom.

A goal off Yossi Benayoun's knee and a diving header from Dirk Kuyt put Liverpool in control in the first half and substitute Lucas headed in the third late on.

Second-placed Liverpool moved on to 77 points with three matches to play. Leader United has 80 points and four matches remaining.

Newcastle, which had Joey Barton sent off in the second half, remains in the relegation zone with 31 points from its 35 matches. With three games to play it is three points behind Hull City, which occupies the safe 17th spot.

On Saturday, Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung scored the goals as United moved closer to a third consecutive league title with a 2-0 victory at relegation-threatened Middlesbrough.

"It's a big step forward - only four games left now. I keep saying you whittle the games away until there are none left," said United manager Alex Ferguson, who is aiming to lead the Red Devils to their 11th Premier League title in 16 seasons. The loss means next-to-last Boro is even deeper in trouble with only 31 points from 35 games and just three matches left in which to try and avoid relegation from the top flight.

Nicolas Anelka scored in the first minute as Chelsea moved to 74 points, after a 3-1 victory over Fulham.

A blunder by England goalkeeper David James, who fumbled Nicklas Bendtner's header into the net, helped Arsenal on to 3-0 victory at Portsmouth. Bendtner and Carlos Vela added more goals and Pompey had Noe Pamarot sent off.


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